Because a garden office is built like a house you can choose the same floor finishes that you would use in your house, and there are a lot of choices from laminate to carpet to rubber.
Final floor coverings are normally included in the price of a garden office
We have highlighted the word normally in the statement above, because in the majority of instances the final floor covering is included in the price of the building, but there are exceptions, so you should check the specification to avoid disappointment.
Some suppliers create a floor deck – often chipboard, OSB or plywood and leave this finish for the customer to choose, install and pay for a finish of their own choice.
- Laminate flooring
- Carpet tiles
- Engineered hardwood flooring’s
- Solid wood flooring
- Softwood floor boards
- Bamboo flooring
- Vinyl flooring
- Rubber flooring
- Cork flooring
- Stone & tiles
Laminate flooring is the most common covering specified for garden offices. It creates the look of a wooden floor, is easy to keep clean and cost effective.
With laminate flooring the structure of the plank is made up of engineered layers that create the structure of the board, the wood plank effect and the durable finish. These engineered boards just click together to look like a wooden floor.
Laminates come in varying qualities, and we are seeing more and more suppliers list that they use ‘commercial grade’ laminate which indicates they have chosen a more durable brand.
The beauty of laminate flooring is the range of finish options you have, from pale birch colours to dark walnuts.
Carpet tiles are often specified on standard design garden offices, and they are a durable option. Because they are fitted in tiles, if one becomes damaged it is an easy and cheap job to lift one tile, and replace it.
Carpet tiles have come a long way from those that were used in schools in the 1980’s and there is more choice over texture and colour than there used to be.
Like any room in your house you have the option of specifying carpet in your garden office. Carpet softens a room in ways that other finishes can’t.
All types of carpet are possible in a garden office, but we commonly see the natural options such as sisal and jute being used.
For a good finish carpets really need to be fitted by a professional who has the tools to stretch the carpet so you get a good tight finish.
Engineered hardwood flooring is a common option on mid to high spec garden offices, and is a good compromise between laminate and hardwood floors.
Engineered flooring is again made of layers laminated together to create a strong, durable and dimensionally stable board, but unlike laminate which has a wood effect finish, with engineered flooring the top layer of the board is real hard wood, so you have all the beauty of a hardwood floor but the durability of an engineered product.
The layer of hardwood can range in thickness from less than 1mm to 6mm thick, the thicker this top layer the longer lasting the product. With the thicker layers you can sand and refinish the floor over the years to refresh its appearance.
You have a lot of choice over the wood species so you can find a finish that will suite your decor, from pale birch finishes to mid tone oaks and dark walnut finishes.
As the name suggests this type of flooring is made from solid sections of hardwood, creating a high class, durable floor with all the beauty of using real wood.
Because the boards are made from solid sections of wood, which are prone to movement due to the environment it is in. It is therefore important that solid wood floors are allowed to acclimatise in the garden office before its laid. Experts suggest it should be sited in the room where its being fitted for 10 to 14 days before its laid.
Solid wood floors are normally sanded and then stained, and finally finished with polyurethane varnish for a hard wearing finish. This process can repeated in the future to refresh the floor finish.
Laminates and engineered floors have become the most popular finish over the last few years, but an old favorite which is still available on some designs is softwood floorboards.
Like the floorboards used in a house these boards come in long lengths and are fixed directly into the joists of the floor..
The boards are normally pine so have a very pale appearance, and knots are clearly visible in the boards. Many garden office suppliers chose to darken this colour by applying a stain and then finish with a durable polyurethane varnish.
Softwood floorboards finished like this have a aged feel, rather like an old schoolroom.
If the floor needs refreshing, the varnish and stain finish can be sanded back, a reapplied for a revitalized finish.
Bamboo flooring has become a popular option for garden office floors, particularly with the designers who design with environmental principles in mind.
Bamboo flooring has many of the benefits of hardwood floors, in that it is very hard and therefore durable, but the key difference is that where hardwoods take decades to mature, bamboo is a very quick growing plant.
Although bamboo flooring should be allowed to acclimatise to its new environment, it is considered more dimensionally stable than hardwood because it is used to changes in moisture and humidity levels having been grown in tropical conditions.
Bamboo floors have a distinct grain pattern, and like wood comes in different shades, so you can choose the colour that works for you.
Rubber flooring has really developed over the last few years and could provide a fun, yet very durable finish for your garden office.
A few years ago rubber floors came in tiles, but today they come in large sheets so there are no joins. The colour palette used to be quite bold, but today the range is much broader and there are more subtle colour options.
Rubber floors come in different textures from smooth sheets to raised texture options such as repeated circular discs.
Vinyl floors come in sheet, tile and plank forms, and there are three key ways of fixing the floor – gluing to the sub-floor, self adhesive strips and click systems where each section clicks to the next.
Vinyl flooring is very durable, and the range of finishes gets bigger each year – from blocks of solid colour to designs that look like stone, tile or wood flooring.
Vinyl flooring is a good option for a garden office as it is very easy to keep clean – soapy water is all it needs, so any dirt or moisture that your feet pick up on the commute down the garden path can easily be cleaned up!
Cork floors come in two systems – tiles which are bonded to the sub-floor and engineered cork tiles which are not bonded to the sub-floor, instead the tiles click together.
Cork is a natural product, and is considered more dimensionally stable than solid wood floors so you shouldn’t get much movement, although like other wooden floors an expansion gap should be left around the perimeter of the building.
There is a trend for more industrial, pared down garden office interiors and to create this some suppliers use birch plywood sheets to form all the interior surfaces of the room – including the floor.
The plywood is normally oiled to protect it and bring out the grain of the plywood veneer.
As we mentioned in our floor construction guide, some designs of garden office have a concrete floor. This opens up different possibilities for floor coverings.
A concrete floor is the perfect base for stone or tiled floor finishes. These finishes not only look beautiful, but are highly durable.
Some people feel that stone and tile floors can create a cold room, but these finishes are often combined with underfloor heating so this needn’t be a problem.